Towards a European strategy for the security of energy supply

Here’s the link to the EU Energy green paper I mentioned yesterday. As is to be expected, the report is ‘fair and balanced’. The section on nuclear energy focuses mainly on the sovereign decision making process as to its adoption and emphasises the role of Brussels in ensuring environmental safety. It does, however, contain this intriguing paragraph:

Although some of the governments of Europe are opting to gradually decrease their nuclear energy capacity, the development of nuclear energy has taken on new momentum following the Finnish government’s decision to start the construction of a new nuclear reactor called the European pressurised reactor, or EPR. France has also decided to build a similar reactor with a view to upgrading its current nuclear installations. The Member States look carefully at environmental issues and security of supply when making such choices. And despite the fierce price war currently raging on the internal electricity market, nuclear energy has become an important factor in ensuring a secure energy supply now and in the foreseeable future.

I think the status of nuclear energy as an important factor in ensuring a secure energy supply just jumped a few points on the board!

Incidentally (and hat-tip to Oliver in comments), Edu Stoiber isn’t wasting any time in getting the nuclear option back on the table (unfortunately link only available in German).

Update: Wow! Just look at this in EU Observer:

Not over yet

The crisis has forced the EU to re-examine its energy policy and its strong dependency on Russian gas, with Mr Piebalgs set to meet experts from the 25 member states in Brussels on Wednesday to see just how badly they were hit by this week’s events.

Energy supply diversification is also set to dominate the Austrian presidency’s first summit in March.

So the Austrian Presidency just got a mission. And there was I laughing away only a week away that the only item on the agenda seemed to be VAT fraud.

Euractiv runs on the same theme, and the Austrian Presidency has started to pronounce.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".